Villa La Culla

Camaiore Tuscany, Italy Book from Book from £437 per night

A stunning 4-bedroom villa with pool & gardens overlooking the Versilian coast: perfect for two families or a multi-gen holiday (sleeps 4-8)
Lording it over Tuscany's western coast from its perch in the foothills of the Apuan Alps, this handsome 3-storey village house stands out for the lush views from its lawned gardens, swimming pool and patios. You're only 20 minutes from Versilia's sandy beaches, with their plentiful sunloungers, bars and restaurants; yet you feel a world away (and several degrees cooler).

We loved the simply styled and immaculately presented interiors: ancient beamed ceilings, cotta floors, elegant armchairs, sleek bathrooms and high-thread-count linens on super-comfy beds. The villa divides neatly into two halves, each having a pair of double bedrooms and its own living area with well-equipped kitchen - perfect for two families travelling together, or a multi-generation holiday where grandparents (or teens) can have their own 'apartment' within the house.

It may be tucked away at the end of an inauspicious cul-de-sac in a tiny mountain hamlet, but don't be fooled. Once inside the gates you'll find a really enchanting hideaway, and a taste of authentic Tuscany.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • The outdoor spaces - two dining patios, lawned gardens, poolside sunbeds - are just perfect for dolce farniente
  • The luxe details - fresh flowers, Egyptian cottons, 3 sizes of wine glass - lift this way above an ordinary Airbnb
  • This part of Tuscany sees fewer foreigners: expect simple eateries, little English and big smiles
  • Three of Tuscany's big draws - Pisa, Lucca, Florence - are within day-tripping distance
  • Those views: on a clear day you can see the islands of Elba and Capraia

Lows

  • The indoor sitting spaces are rather cosy for 7-8, but this is primarily a summer villa - with lovely outdoor spaces to match
  • You'll have to drive to shops: there's only a village trattoria in La Culla
  • The multi-level arrangement may not suit parents wanting to be near younger kids
  • Bear in mind that none of the bedrooms can bet set up with twin beds
  • You can't drive right to the door as the lane is so narrow
We always recommend late spring (May-early June) or autumn (September-early October) if you can travel then: fewer crowds, pleasant temperatures, and more flexibility with your stay dates. From mid June to mid September, you have to book weekly blocks starting on a Friday or Saturday. In winter, this region gets noticeably colder than, say, Rome: you're nearly 400km further north.

Great for...

Family
Great Outdoors
  • Villa for 4-8
  • 4 doubles
  • Self-catering
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

The 4-bedroom stone house comfortably sleeps 6 adults and 2 kids, or 7 adults. It divides neatly into two halves (the top floor, and the lower two), each with two bedrooms, a living and dining area, even a separate entrance if required. So you can have one sitting room for grown-ups (I'd take the lower one with its huge corner fireplace) and another for the kids (to make as much noise as they like).

The upper level is entered via a cosy living room; its kitchen/diner is half a floor up. Follow the corridor for 2 double bedrooms (the smaller sleeps 1 adult or 2 children) bookending a shower bathroom. Or head round the side to come into lower floor from the front terrace into a good-sized kitchen-diner. Stairs lead to another 2 (larger) double bedrooms and a shower bathroom on the middle floor.

We loved the soothing mix of natural materials - terracotta tiles, oak beams, leather headboards - and the muted colours: creamy walls, snow-white bedsheets, a sun-bleached red rug.

Note that, if you're coming with 7 or 8 people in colder weather, the indoor sitting spaces are rather small: the lower one seats 6, the upper one 4-5.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Barbecue
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Dishwasher
  • Fireplace
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Swimming pool
  • Toaster
  • TV
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

This house has two kitchens too, so different generations can happily eat separately. The larger ground-floor kitchen-diner opens to the terrace for spectacular coastal views. It seats 6 in comfort, so if coming with two families in colder weather, you might want to do two shifts (kids and then adults). A compact second kitchen is by the top floor entrance.

As the property is halfway up a mountain, shops are a short drive away: Camaiore (4km) has a few grocery stores, but for the full range head to the Lido di Camaiore superstore (9km).

In the village, the simple but welcoming Trattoria da Luciano gets good reviews for its tordelli (local meat ravioli), rabbit stew and crispy local vegetables - hearty and affordable cucina casalinga (and you can stumble home afterwards in 2 minutes!). Camaiore and environs have some buzzy Tuscan osterie and pizzerie with views or terraces; Forte dei Marmi and Viareggio offer everything from beachside snacks to fine dining and sushi.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Dishwasher
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Toaster
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • The sandy beaches of the Versilian Coast are 20 minutes away by car. To escape the crowds, head to Lecciona with its flower and bird reserve; to join them, settle into one of the lidi of Viareggio or Forte dei Marmi, where drinks and seafood are readily available
  • Explore the majestic Apuan Alps with their switchback roads. They offer cycling and hiking, and much of the area is forested national park. There are caves at Carrara, too
  • Take a day trip to the iconic Tuscan cities of Lucca and Pisa, both 45 mins' drive away; Florence (1hr 30) can be done as a longish day-trip
  • Or head northwards for the colourful coastal villages and dramatic cliffs of the Cinque Terre
  • Olive oil and Tuscan wines can be tasted and bought nearby

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Wine tasting

Kids

With a pool, gardens and 4 double bedrooms (the smaller of which on each floor would suit children), it's a great option for extended families or two families travelling together: grandparents, or the second family, could take the top floor, with their own kitchen and living space. We think it is best with older children (5+ yrs), given its stylish (and largely white) interiors, and its location away from the beach. Having said that, being elevated in the cooler foothills of the Apuan Alps can be a godsend in summer.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool (unheated)
  • Gardens to play in

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Beaches
  • Mountain biking in the Apuan Alps
  • Caves at Carrara
  • Day trips to Lucca, Pisa and Florence

Families Should Know:

The gardens are enclosed with a fence, but the pool itself is not.

Distances:

  • Airport: 35 minutes (Pisa)
  • Hospital: 12 minutes
  • Shops: 10 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

The villa is in a small hamlet in the foothills of the Apuan Alps, near the town of Camaiore and the coast near Viareggio.

By Air:
The nearest airport is Pisa (35km / 30 mins' drive). You can also fly to Florence (110km) or Genoa (150km).

From the Airport
You'll need a car here; see our car rental recommendations. The villa is at the end of a small cul-de-sac, so you may prefer to park on the access road and walk the last part.

By Train:
The nearest station is Pietrasanta (15 mins away), which is served by trains from Genoa, Florence, Pisa, La Spezia and Rome.

Detailed directions will be provided when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Pisa Galileo Galilei 35.0 km PSA
  • Florence Amerigo Vespucci 100.0 km FLR

Other:

  • Beach 10.0 km
  • Shops 0.5 km
  • Restaurant 0.2 km

Rates for Villa La Culla

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